Hi! Who are you, and what are you currently working on?
My name is Jimmy, and I’m the president of New Again Auto Interiors INC. We go to car dealerships and fix vehicle interiors that have been traded in or damaged, so they don’t have to sell cars to a junkyard.
We repair interiors at a lower price than it cost to replace so it is a huge cost saving for dealers. This makes cars more presentable to buyers, which increases the sales price.
There are over 20 dealers in Florida and Georgia I work with, and we produce over $30k a month with 2 people. We also have a person who does replacement work for vehicle damage that cannot be repaired.
What’s your background, and what motivated you to start your business venture?
My background was not good. I was adopted at the age of 4, and ran away at 15. I never went to high school or college. For a while, I was in trouble with the law, and headed nowhere. I had no guidance and no parents.
I met a guy who hired me out of jail and I turned my life around. He gave me lots of opportunities but never handed me anything.
One day he showed up to the trailer park I was living in, hauling a dumpster and sledgehammer.
He had me tear down all the trailers, because he was buying new ones. He showed me the meaning of hard work and also taught me about god. I worked for this entrepreneur for 4 years before I met my wife.
She lived in PA, and so in order to be with her I left my job and moved across the country. There was no one to work for in my field in PA, so I started my own thing but modeled my company like the proven system I was at previously.
During the cold months, I had to take all the paints (4 2ftx4ft wooden drawers in my van) into my house, and back out the next morning. Otherwise, my materials might’ve gone bad.
I was motivated to start my business venture because it’s all I knew to do. There was no one else to work for so I created a job for myself. I lived by my morals at work and home.
How did you get started? What did the early days look like?
When getting started, I was scared to death. I only worked at small lots, because the big dealers were much more intimidating. But while working at the small ones, I gained my confidence.
Every dime went into my business and I even got a second job. At the time, I was making about $400 a day, and only got paid every 30-45 days so I needed money from the second job.
It took about 3 months of selling and networking to make enough money to quit the second gig.
I asked my old boss to help, but he wanted 20% which was too high, so I had no help or guidance. During that time, I continued doing the right thing and guarding my name.
How have you grown your business venture?
The most effective strategy to grow my business is the same as any other business.
Show up, do the best you can, and work to become a better person. Continuous self improvement shows through in my work as people notice honesty, and trustworthiness.
I’ve never worried about the money. Instead, I wake up looking to help people improve their cars so they can sell them and make money themselves. In turn more money flows back to me.
Other helpful strategies included showing pictures of my work, and offering the first job free so I could show my quality of work.
What is one small but powerful tactic you implemented that helped you achieve success?
Sacrifice is the most powerful act in business. I have sacrificed so much that my wife’s family has probably only seen me a couple days in the last 15 years.
I always send her to see them, but sacrifice my time and life to become successful. When it’s past 5pm on a Friday and someone calls I go. Most nights I get home at 7 instead of 5:30, and my plans are gone.
I have worked in PA when it was snowing, and FL when it’s 110 degrees.
What is one of the biggest challenges you faced during your business journey, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is developing employees. Oftentimes, people work a few months and think they know it all and overlook the relationships I have with our clients.
It’s usually all talk and no walk. Be a walker not a talker. Let the others talk about you.
I am still working to be a better leader, but I’ve also learned most people blame others instead of themselves. Blame yourself for all your issues and be accountable. If you really think about it, you have a hand in every situation you are in.
What is one new or unusual trend showing up in your industry that you’re paying attention to?
My industry stays pretty constant. Dealerships either hire people in-house who don’t perform, or hire expensive companies with experience.
I would like to deliver high caliber experience to the dealers with my crew, without being there everyday myself.
What is the biggest factor that separates successful people from people who fail or never get started?
The biggest factor is sacrifice, discipline, and personal development. Sometimes I’ll go to work on my personal days because someone needs us. I am always there for my customers and go above and beyond.
Recently one of my biggest accounts said “Jimmy you should hear the things people say about you. Every time you leave everyone is raving about you “ this comment is the most important thing.
Getting to the point where people speak so highly of our brand when they don’t have to, feels amazing.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
If you are just getting started, be ready to feel uncomfortable and like you aren’t earning much. This is a good thing, because in the beginning you are building your brand.
Your reputation is all you have so keep it impeccable.
Strive for your reputation to be one in which you are always there to help, and even do more than you are paid for.
If you only do the minimum when getting started, you likely won’t make it.
Everything can’t be about the money, it has to also be about helping and serving people. The things you do for free is an investment in your future.
Remember word of mouth is a powerful thing, and people will spread your name faster than you can imagine.
How are things going today and what’s next?
Today I have been doing this for 18 years. My wife handles the accounting, and we have 3 techs who go to dealers and fix cars and another who handles more custom projects when we can’t fix an issue.
I am starting to import products we use from Asia, because I don’t want to buy products 3 people down the line, who have all added their own margin to the final price.
I also would really like to teach, potentially creating my own school going or joining a trade school as an educator.
What have been the most influential podcasts, books, or other resources?
Bible, Jim Rohn, Rich Dad Poor Dad, other local business owners, and The Opposable Mind.
I listen to Denzel Washington’s put god first on YouTube everyday, as well as Howard Stern. Listen to things at work that will better your mind and awareness. Leave the music and non important things for after.
Work on your mind while you work on your craft.
Where can we go to learn more?
I am not big on social media or putting myself out there. I would like to grow in other ways, but it really takes study and knowledge and a conqueror of fear.